The Destruction of Dresden

(original 1963 edition)

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"THERE can be few operations of war as causeless, as purposeless, and as brutal as the attack on Dresden during the night of February 13, 1945. In The Destruction of Dresden Mr. David Irving has analysed in an objective manner the causes and results of this gratuitous act. As Air Marshal Sir Robert Saundby comments in his foreword, the bombing of Dresden was 'a great tragedy' the purposes of which are 'difficult to determine. He agrees that Mr. Irving 'tells dispassionately and honestly, the story of a deeply tragic example, in time of war, of man's inhumanity to man'. We should be grateful to the author for having devoted long study to this question and for having now provided us with as accurate an account of what actually happened as we are likely to obtain. It was in fact an operation unworthy of our history. Nobody could contend that Dresden was a legitimate strategic target; nobody could contend that this terror raid shortened the war or satisfied our Russian allies. I am not surprised that most Englishmen should strive to forget about Dresden." -- Sir Harold Nicolson in The Observer

"IN devoting a book to this one violent moment of the war, with its antecedents and something of its aftermath, Mr. David Irving has rendered the British people a great service. They have to know. The Dresden event is a part of British (as well as of German, and European, and human) history. It is a piece of the mosaic that makes up the British character and a brush-stroke, out of many, in the image that Britain presents to foreign peoples -- an image the British are at best imperfectly aware of, and that has consequences which they often find it difficult to understand. Dresden also has lessons necessary to an understanding of the nature of war. What is necessary is to know what happened and to understand how it came to happen, and the only way is to read Mr. Irving's excellent and terrible book." -- The Economist

"A superb deadpan narrative." -- Richard Crossman in The New Statesman

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